‘Like Tuscany, Provence has been trampled over by too many writers in recent years. But Nicholas Woodsworth, a former Africa correspondent for the Financial Times and a Provençal by marriage, looks as though he could break the curse of Mayle.’ —New York Times
‘The travels are idiosyncratic and entertaining, the observation always diverting and frequently inspired. . . . Beneath the sheen, Provence indeed remains elemental. And, in leading us through, Woodsworth remains a witty, erudite, and extraordinarily stimulating companion.’ —Daily Telegraph
A region steeped in fable and myth, Provence is a cultural crossroads of European history. A source of inspiration to artists, poets, and troubadours, it is now an enviable refuge for the wealthy and fashionable. Nicholas Woodsworth, who was born in Ottawa, Canada, married into a Provençal family and has lived in the region for decades. Lovingly recounting vivid details of life in Provence, he provides here a welcome antidote to the typical rosé-tinted, romantic view of it being a perennially sunny destination for tourists. The true Provençaux have always lived a hard life close to the land and the rhythms of the seasons. And it is in the revelation and understanding of these lives, of the Provençal people, that the truths of the region are to be found. As much a study of Provençal culture and history as a memoir and travel book, this is a deep and soulful investigation into a way of life that remains very distinct from that of the rest of France.
NICHOLAS WOODSWORTH was born in Ottawa, Canada in 1953 and grew up in Africa and South-East Asia. He was Africa Correspondent for the Financial Times in the late 1980s, and served as the FT Weekend’s staff travel writer from 1990 to 2003. He lives with his wife, Jany, in Aix-en-Provence.